World's First Certified Zero Carbon Sports Venue Will Prove Green Building Is Possible at Any Size If Climate Action Is Priority

Jul 15, 2020 3:45 PM ET
Campaign: Press Releases

World’s First Certified Zero Carbon Sports Venue Will Prove Green Building is P…

SEATTLE, July 15, 2020 /3BL Media/—Climate Pledge Arena aims to be the first International Living Future Institute Zero Carbon certified professional sports venue in the world. 

“NHL Seattle, Oak View Group, and Amazon are showing the world what ambitious climate action looks like,” said Jason F. McLennan, CEO of McLennan Design, founder and board member of the International Living Future Institute, and sustainability advisor to the new arena. “If an 18,100-seat redeveloped arena can earn Zero Carbon Certification, any project can—as long as action on climate change is made an urgent priority.”

The Institute’s Zero Carbon Certification requires 100 percent of the energy used to operate the building to be offset by new renewable energy. In addition, 100 percent of the embodied carbon emissions associated with the construction and materials of the project must be disclosed and offset. It is the first worldwide program to independently verify claims about “net zero carbon” and “carbon neutral” buildings. 

“As a co-founder and signatory of The Climate Pledge, we’re committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement 10 years early and reaching net zero carbon by 2040,” said Kara Hurst, Vice President of Sustainability, Amazon. “Climate Pledge Arena will become a landmark in the Seattle community and serve as a constant reminder of the importance of fighting climate change through real, sustainable changes to our built environment and better experiences for all attendees.”

Climate Pledge Arena is likely the first professional sports venue not to rely on fossil fuels, as Zero Carbon Certification requires projects to avoid or minimize onsite combustion. The arena will have all-electric operations and be powered with 100% renewable electricity, both from on-site solar panels and off-site renewable energy. 

“Climate change is the most pressing issue for our generation,” said Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group, the arena developer. “By choosing the International Living Future Institute’s Zero Carbon Certification, we are making climate action a centerpiece of Climate Pledge Arena; it will be a platform to inspire thousands of fans each year.”

In addition to Zero Carbon Certification, the Institute operates a suite of programs such as the Living Building Challenge, Declare, Just and the Living Product Challenge, which have been embraced by many of the world’s leading companies, including Google, Microsoft, and Salesforce. For more information, visit

About the International Living Future Institute

The International Living Future Institute is an environmental nonprofit committed to catalyzing the transformation toward communities that are socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative. The Institute is premised on the belief that providing a compelling vision for the future is a fundamental requirement for reconciling humanity’s relationship with the natural world. The Institute operates the Living Building Challenge, the world’s most advanced, holistic performance standard for buildings. It is a hub for many other visionary programs that support the transformation toward a living future. Learn more at